While students at Mt. Pleasant Community High School were already able to take online and on campus classes at Iowa Wesleyan University, the district entered into the first official memorandum of understanding with the college to provide 30 courses to high school students who qualify.
Superintendent John Henriksen and DeWayne Frazier, dean of Iowa Wesleyan University (IW), signed a post secondary enrollment options (PSEO) on Thursday, Feb. 14, at the high school with high school and IW students, faculty and staff gathered behind them. Even IW’s mascot, the tiger, made an appearance at the signing to show his support.
“We want our kids, families and community to know our commitment to a partnership between the two institutions and to strengthen that any way we can,” Henriksen said. “Wesleyan is a great option for our kids.”
Henriksen said that Mt. Pleasant Community High School (MPCHS) doesn’t have the capacity to offer every class students may be interested in. IW can help fill that need.
Frazier said that IW could even offer classes at the high school in the future for students to receive both high school and college credit without leaving their campus.
“What we have been seeing with PSEO and dual credit (classes) is students come in with an associate degree,” Frazier said. “College is expensive and if you can finish in three years, that’s a huge benefit.”
Southeastern Community College and MPCHS are two of IW’s most important partners, Frazier said. Five of Frazier’s own children are enrolled in the Mt. Pleasant Community School District.
“This is our community, and we want to find ways to help our community,” Frazier said.
MPCHS students who take courses at IW can have those credits applied toward a degree at IW or transferred to another college or university.
Students eligible for PSEO classes must complete and submit several documents in order to register for IW classes. Students have to submit a general application, including signatures from the student, guidance counselor and parent or guardian; submit a PSEO college class agreement including signatures from the student and parent or guardian; and submit a release of information form. Documents can be accepted at the guidance office at the high school.
Priority registration will be given to currently enrolled full-time IW students. High school students are encouraged to be flexible in their course selection because some classes may already be filled.
The most common classes high school students take are chemistry, biology and English, Frazier said.
Keegan Kohorst, 16, is a student at MPCHS who took English composition online through IW. Kohorst said he enjoyed the class and it was a good way to get college credits under his belt.
“I’m not looking to go to Iowa Wesleyan, but it’s still a good opportunity for everyone in the community,” Kohorst said.